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Ever since losing to Kai Otton at Supertubos, the pressure on Fanning had been piling up. This is the moment his third world title became a reality.© 2014 ASP / Cestari
From early on in this event it was clear that Fanning couldn't rely on Slater to falter. The 11 time world champ was on unstoppable form, punching through impossible sections and discarding nine point rides. He edged out John John in the final and will be back next year to defend his title.© 2014 ASP / Cestari
"The world title is something that takes a whole year, but sometimes it can feel like it boils down to the final day and the final heats,” Fanning said. “I’m sure I gave my wife Karissa and my mum enough stress today to last a lifetime. I was never worried myself now that I think of it. I knew what I needed to do and if the opportunity came, I knew I could do it. That opportunity came in both heats today. It’s an incredible feeling. I’ve been having fun all year and to clinch on a day like this at Pipeline makes it that much more special.”© 2014 ASP / Cestari
Fanning was in search of a 9+ score to progress through to the semis and secure the world title. In the final moments he took off on a second reef bomb and pulled into a running backhand barrel. All he could do at this point was raise his arms and pray for the score. Was he overscored?
Fanning scrapes over one, while keeping an eager eye on the horizon.© 2014 ASP / Cestari
Slater air-drops into a Pipe bomb during the final against John John. He made this drop and emerged on the shoulder with a deluge of spray.© 2014 ASP / Cestari
One of many beautiful backhand tubes from the seven time Pipe Masters champion. “Today was one of the most special days in my life,” said Slater, following the win. “It’s a day I have dreamed about since I was a little kid – big, perfect, west-angled Pipeline and a showdown at the Pipe Masters. If I had stepped away from the sport five years ago, I wouldn’t have had today. I want more days like this so I’m definitely back next year.”© 2014 ASP / Kirstin
Fanning racing for the light.© 2014 ASP / Kirstin
“The crowd today is the biggest I have ever seen at Pipe,” Slater said. “It’s unbelievable. I woke up in the dark and my friend Ross Williams was at my house saying he couldn't even get his bike on the road to ride over here. We’re so excited to be here at Pipe, especially when the waves are good. All the people on the beach and online and watching on television make it that much more exciting.”© 2014 ASP / Cestari
This chart shows the peak of the swell. The grey line is a satellite pass of the storm. While it misses the absolute centre it shows a really close correlation between our forecast and the actual wave heights - all resulting in a reliable prediction of the waves we saw on the day.
The conditions were large, intimidating, but near perfect on the right set.© 2014 ASP / Cestari
Florence finished second, and secured the Triple Crown title, however, the pain of losing to Slater in the Final will be hard to forget.© 2014 ASP / Cestari
An outlandish reverse off the end section from Florence.© 2014 ASP / Cestari
Two smiling, but mildly unsatisfied champions.© 2014 ASP / Cestari
Miguel Pupo relished the surfeit of Pipe barrels, ousting former Pipe Master, Jeremy Flores, in round 5. His campaign came to an abrupt end against last year's champ, Joel Pakinson.© 2014 ASP / Cestari
Kai Otton throws himself over the ledge.© 2014 ASP / Cestari
Seabass looked on form throughout the early rounds, but was brushed aside by Slater in the quarters.© 2014 ASP / Cestari
CJ Hobgood almost eliminated Fanning in their round 5 heat, but once again Fanning found the required score on a second reef bomb.© 2014 ASP / Cestari
Yadin Nicol was the last man to stand in Fanning's way. He ended up losing by less than a point after a contentious last minute barrel from the Australian.© 2014 ASP / Kirstin
The man of the hour, but not the year.© 2014 ASP / Cestari
Mick Eugene Fanning has once again been engraved upon the world championship trophy, a simple inscription which tells nothing of blood, sweat, tears (and judging) which went into the win.
The final day of the Pipe Masters saw Kelly Slater dominate a solid Pipeline lineup, pushing aside opponents in frantic dash for the finish line, however, the world title went to an indefatigable Australian who took his chances when they came while exhibiting the patience and consistency which have characterised his year.
Fanning had to make the semi-finals to secure the title, facing up against CJ Hobgood and Yadin Nicol. In both heats he relied on last minute bombs to surpass his opponent, but the quality of his barrel riding cold not be denied.
With moments to spare in the title-deciding heat against Yadin Nicol, he required a 9+ score to win. A second reef set emerged from the depths, he took off, faded, and jammed into a solid tube which spat him out over the sandbank. As he strolled up the beach, mobbed by fans and paparazzi, the result was not yet certain, then a 9.7 was called, prompting a roar from the beach, and tears of relief from the victor. Mick’s score was controversial, considering criticality of Nicol’s rides, but we’re not judges, and don’t want to be either.
“The world title is something that takes a whole year, but sometimes it can feel like it boils down to the final day and the final heats,” Fanning said. “I’m sure I gave my wife Karissa and my mum enough stress today to last a lifetime. I was never worried myself now that I think of it. I knew what I needed to do and if the opportunity came, I knew I could do it. That opportunity came in both heats today. It’s an incredible feeling. I’ve been having fun all year and to clinch on a day like this at Pipeline makes it that much more special.”
“Today was one of the most special days in my life, It’s a day I have dreamed about since I was a little kid – big, perfect, west-angled Pipeline and a showdown at the Pipe Masters. If I had stepped away from the sport five years ago, I wouldn’t have had today. I want more days like this so I’m definitely back next year.” Kelly Slater
The man in pursuit, Kelly Slater, was on unstoppable form throughout the entirety of the event, reminiscent of his domination of Cloudbreak early this year. He defeated Parkinson, Seabass and finally John John to win his seventh Pipe Masters.
After Mick secured the world title, Slater seemed to unleashed to an even greater degree. He discarded nines and punched through impossible sections which seemed even to surprise him. A close fought battle against John John in the final almost curtailed his road to Pipe victory, but he pushed through, as much through momentum as freakish skill.
“Last year, someone asked me what excited me in the end years of my career and I said I would like to surf a Final at Pipe against John John (Florence) so that’s pretty special today,” Slater said. “To win is even better. I want to surf against the best surfers at the best waves – that’s why I’m on tour. I was obviously emotional today, especially after Mick (Fanning) clinched the title in the Quarters. I don’t know what happens for me in 2014 but I think that has pissed me off just enough to come back.”
“Today was one of the most special days in my life,” Slater continued. “It’s a day I have dreamed about since I was a little kid – big, perfect, west-angled Pipeline and a showdown at the Pipe Masters. If I had stepped away from the sport five years ago, I wouldn’t have had today. I want more days like this so I’m definitely back next year.”
The third champion of the event was somewhat overshadowed by the world title race. With his second place finish, John John Florence secured the Triple Crown title, however losing to Slater by less than a point in the final was a bitter way to end his day. Pipe remains the ultimate, and it continues to elude Oahu’s most talented surfing prodigy.
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS FINAL RESULTS:
1 - Kelly Slater (USA) 16.37
2 - John John Florence (HAW) 15.90
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 18.30 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 5.00
SF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.63 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.84
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.03 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 16.90
QF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 16.77 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.00
QF 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.80 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 7.80
QF 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.83 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 6.00
2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) Top 22:
1. Mick Fanning (AUS)
2. Kelly Slater (USA)
3. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
4. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
5. Taj Burrow (AUS)
6. Julian Wilson (AUS)
7. Kai Otton (AUS)
8. Nat Young (USA)
9. Josh Kerr (AUS)
10. John John Florence (HAW)
11. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
12. Michel Bourez (PYF)
13. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
14. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
15. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
16. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
17. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
18. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
19. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
20. Fred Patacchia (HAW)
21. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
22. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
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